Last Thursday, Facebook announced that more than 200 news organizations eill receive nearly $16 million in grants that stem from $25 million in local news relief funding announced in March as part of Facebook’s $100 million global investment in local news.
After receiving more than 2,000 applications for the COVID-19 Local News Relief Grant Program from newsrooms across every state in the US, all US territories and Washington, D.C., we are providing grants ranging from $25,000-$100,000 to help publishers continue serving communities during the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the announcement, one newsroom in Rhode Island will receive a $25,000 grant through the Facebook Journalism Project’s relief fund for local news. That newsroom is the Portsmouth Press.
On its website, PortsmouthPress.com says it is a community news and service website for residents and visitors to the Portsmouth, Rhode Island, area.
The website, which launched in 2016, is owned and run by Portsmouth resident Sandy McGee, the former Editor of Portsmouth Patch.
The COVID-19 Local News Relief Grant Program was designed to provide support for US local news organizations serving a critical role for communities impacted by COVID-19. Funding is intended to a) respond to immediate community needs and/or b) offset some revenue shortfalls to help publishers maintain long-term sustainability during this crisis.
Facebook Journalism Project’s grant recipients were selected through a process lead by the Local Media Association (LMA) and The Lenfest Institute for Journalism and with significant contributions from the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), Local Media Consortium (LMC), and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).
Past Accelerator participants from the US and Canada are also receiving relief grants to help safeguard the transformation they’ve achieved over the last several years and to capitalize on new opportunities. Remaining funds will be used throughout 2020 to support projects focused on longer-term sustainability in local journalism.
The pool of COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program recipients is notable in that nearly four in five are family or independently owned, half are published by or for communities of color, nearly 40 percent are digitally native publishers, and just over a third are non-profits.